Friday, 14 November 2008



I have set up this blog to show my journey into what I am calling eco stitching. Eco stitching I would define as trying to sew/knit/crochet in the most environmentally friendly way possible.

I have a collection of antique sewing machines, about 20 in number at present. I am planning on getting all of these working so I can use them to sew actual garments and soft furnishings. I have 3 domestic treadle machines, 1 industrial treadle and the rest are hand operated (hand cranks). There are at least 5 which work well already, after basic oiling and cleaning. Some of the hand cranks I have had for a while are being sold on eBay, that way I can pass on the eco stitching to other people, and help buy more old machines to be refurbished.

I also run a Yahoo group with my daughter. This is called Eco-sew and is run along the same principles.

Another thing I do is refurbish hand operated sewing machines for a charity called Tools For Self Reliance. They send the machines out to Africa where they are used by local people to earn a living and also to make clothes for themselves and their families.

I am learning to spin as well. I bought about 6 fleeces at a rare breed fair in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, ready for spinning, this should keep me going for a few years. My partner bought me a brand new Ashford Traveller spinning wheel, so I am all ready to roll. I have done a smallamount of spinning, but I find the carding part of the preparation both boring and hard on my hands. Much as I would love to buy a drum carder, I can't afford the £200 that they cost.
so, I am attempting to make my own using some rough plans I found on the internet some years ago. I have got to the stage where I have made the large and small drums and ordered the carding cloth. When I get the cloth I have to attach it to the drums, after that build the box it all sits in. I have taken some photos so I will post them when it is complete. If it works when finished, I will also write out a blow by blow description of the whole process so that other people can also try making their own.

I think this is about enough to start me off.